Tuesday greetings! I hope today has been surprisingly, unexpectedly, amazing!
Well, that wasn’t a normal greeting…
Let’s be honest….how often do things really work out exactly how you plan?
Do you ever seem to work so hard to make a plan and then it just never quite pans out the way you draw it up?
You may really want something to work out or to happen but no matter how hard you try, things don’t always line up or the timing is wrong. Something is just always in the way.
It is in these times that our faith can be tested. We try and try and try, we pray, beg, and plead yet what we ask for just doesn’t happen.
Why!? Why can’t it always just work out!?
Sometimes it’s enough to drive you crazy. It’s like when your birthday is coming up and you make a wish list. You think, “Oh, this will be great! I am going to get all this stuff that I ask for!”
Your birthday comes and you don’t get anything on your list! WHAT!?
It’s not the worst thing in the world but you still think, well that was a little bit of a let down.
This one time while I was in school, I hit a bit of a rough patch. I had a lot of bills to pay, a lot of homework to do, I was scheduled to work a lot that coming week and did not know how I would make it all work out.
I prayed. Naturally it was for someone to pick up my shifts at work, for me to be able to absorb the information from my books and notes by sleeping on them through some modified version of osmosis, and to find a tree that money grew on. All my problems would be solved.
Actually, I just knew that I had a lot of school work to do and was praying for an easy shift at work. I needed the money so I had to work but I also really needed to study.
That weekend as I went to work, hoping for that easy shift so I can get home early…we get slammed.
From the moment I walked in the door till the time we closed, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Great! Of course on a day that is normally slow, on day where I really could have used a break, we are incredibly busy…fantastic.
On the other side, because of that busy day at work, I was able to pay my bills and put some into savings. I also was able to finish my homework; I just didn’t sleep as much as I would have liked.
Sometimes, I think that is the way God works. In mysterious, frustrating, unexpected, and wonderful ways.
Now, as an Episcopalian, I am comfortable in saying that I don’t believe that these paths are all determined for me and that my life is all mapped up and set for me. I do believe that I have a purpose. However, it is up to me to find it and to get there. However, I am not alone in this journey.
Often times in life, we think we know exactly what we want. We have a plan. We try to create as much organization in this crazy little thing called life.
More often than not, it doesn’t work out exactly that way.
When we pray, why do things not work out that way we ask?
Sometimes it may feel that our prayers are being completely ignored because things aren’t working out the way we plan.
But I think that is part of the plan. Just because our prayers are not answered in a way that we want, doesn’t mean they are not being answered.
While I may have wanted a day off from work that one day, I actually really needed to work. It was something that really helped me out at a time that I was struggling. It wasn’t the easiest answer to a prayer, I had to work hard to make it happen, but in the end, it was what I needed at that time.
Just because things don’t work out the way we want doesn’t mean that God is ignoring us. Maybe God is answering; we just don’t always see it.
They may not be the easiest paths and we may have to work hard to make things happen, but whoever said that prayer was easy?
If you go back to the origin of the word to pray it actually means to wrestle.
In the Bible, Jacob is in prayer and is assaulted. Jacob wrestles his assailant until daybreak. This was Jacob literally wresting with the visible manifestation of the invisible God.
I think this is more accurate way of describing prayer. We ask, we beg we plead, we cry out…Over and over and over again.
Prayer is not a one and down kind of thing. It is something we should do a lot!
But also remember, the thing you ask for may not be exactly what you ask for, but that doesn’t mean you are being ignored.
Be on the look out for the wonderful, amazing, annoying, frustrating, unexpected ways that God answers your prayers.